WE KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING
The responsibility of the government is to provide leadership to a country. This leadership is in finding solutions to the challenges faced by the citizens. It is not enough for the government to explain the problems, they should tell the citizens what they are doing to address the problem.
Today we are faced with fuel prices going up substantially and the best we have received is a commentary on why the prices are going up and not what the government is doing to address the problem. The minister of energy as well as other government officials have only explained to us what has necessitated the increase but have not indicated what they are doing about it. It’s like going to a doctor for a headache and instead of the doctor treating you for the headache, they only tell you the cause of the headache and let you leave.
I think the Ministry of Energy and the government in general should be able to give more than just commentary to the problem. WE NEED SOLUTIONS not narrations of what is happening. We all know what is happening in Ukraine, you knew of the war in Ukraine, what did you do to avoid the worst impact locally? I have expressed my concerns on the monthly reviews of the fuel prices on this platform before and how disturbing it is especially for small scale businesses. It is a scandal that will kill many businesses in the long run.
The monthly revision of fuel prices is likely to negate even the positives that the government is doing in addressing other economic challenges. For example, the CDF, the power of the K25.7m now is not the same as it was last month. As prices go up the the value of the money is going down. The increased social cash transfer will end up buying the same things that the previous amount could buy. This will in the end compromise all other gains that we should be celebrating together.
My appeal to the Ministry of Energy, The Energy Regulation Board and the government in general is that revise this monthly revision. Instead of monthly make it a quarterly review or a 6 months review. Give an opportunity to small scale businesses to plan and invest in some form of “long-termish” businesses. Some businesses take about 3 months to realize some profit, if the prices keep changing every month, then it becomes difficult for them to invest in businesses that take longer than 30 days to get profits. The K4 increment is quiet substantial which is likely to affect commodity prices substantially.
My proposal, instead of monthly reviews, make it 3 months reviews. The increase if any should be done at an average percentage that should cover the incidental increments within the projected 3 months. If we monitor the trends, we should be able to estimate what the increments will look like in the coming 3 months. We then can pick the average percentage and enforce that as cost of fuel for the period of 3 months. During that time prices will be stable and people will have the ability to plan and manage their lives easier. This would address a number of problems both for the government and the general public.
For some of us that understand the damage that was done to this economy, this was expected. When we said no to the PF early enough, our goal was to avoid getting us into the deep they got us. We knew our economy was being butchered at every corner that is why we called to stop them. If we had stopped them early enough, we would have avoided the mess that we have found ourselves in today. Today it is the UPND in power, we want to see a difference in the approach.
We want to experience the difference. The poorest of our people do need a government to protect them from social and economic shocks. We know what is happening in Ukraine and we know what the PF criminals did to this country but we want to know WHAT YOU ARE DOING TO MAKE OUR LIVES BETTER TODAY. How are you protecting us from global events that have the capacity to take away our dignity? What are you doing to ensure that we can afford a meal for a day?
WE KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING, WE DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING ABOUT IT.